THIS IS MOST DEFINITELY THE WINTER TO GET GEARED UP FOR THE BACKCOUNTRY.
Go further, faster and higher into the big mountains this winter with our pick of the best new men’s and women’s ski touring boots for 2021.
Dalbello Quantum Asolo Factory
A sub-1kg boot that can actually charge? You betcha.
The lightest boot in our line-up is also currently the most talked about, thanks to the crazy-cool new bonded shell construction. Dalbello’s next-level Quantum boots are basically two halves of a light, mega-stiff polyamide/carbon fibre shell bonded together. It’s genuinely next level stuff according to Lee: “You can really feel the boot enveloping your foot with fantastic heel hold. How something this light can feel so genuinely powerful is a real triumph.”
With 65° ROM you’re looking at a genuinely efficient uphill player, then pull the simple ski/walk lever and nail the correct tension with the Dyneema Technora Rope system and you’ll find they’re super rapid in transition.
The Quick Lacing System means you can dial in the fit to suit and the ID Touring Pro liner is fully customisable. The flex doesn’t jar on the descent thanks to the carbon fibre in the cuff, inspiring confidence.
Also available in the slightly heavier Quantum Asolo (1065g with carbon cuff) and Quantum (1150g).
Bottom line: a lightweight revolution – well played Dalbello.
Volume: L Last: 99 Flex: n/a Weight: 950g
Dynafit Hoji Free 110
All hail Hoji and his flippin’ excellent boots! Following on from the success of last year’s Hoji Free 130 comes the slightly lighter and flexier Dynafit Hoji Free 110 – a speed nose-free boot that opens up Hoji town to a wider range of skiers.
Compatible with alpine touring and hybrid bindings and automatic crampons, it comes with a lightweight Grilamid shell and offers an impressive 55° ROM in walk mode thanks to the V-shaped tongue design.
Throw in the bespoke thermo-mouldable Hoji Free liner by Sidas and the much-lauded, super-easy-to-operate Hoji Lock system designed to fit over the top of your ski pants for rapid deployment, and you’ve got one of the most innovative backcountry boots on the mountain.
Bottom line: flip it and rip it.
Volume: M Last: 102 Flex: 110 Weight: 1550g
Scarpa F1 LT
Weighing in at 990g, the brand new F1 LT (Light and Tough) plugs the gap between Scarpa’s skimo-esque Alien and the heavier F1/Maestrale series, as a super-light alpine touring boot optimised for technical adventures and multi-day trips in the high alpine.
With a bonkers 72° ROM in walk mode and a sub-1kg carbon/Grilamid construction, this black/orange beauty offers category-leading uphill performance. Built for long approaches, ski mountaineering and bonus laps, the numbered velcro buckle on the upper cuff ensures you easily remember your personal fit preferences and there’s a thinner removable power strap higher up if you need it snugger around the calf.
Boa tech takes care of the fit on the lower part of the boot and the Intuition liner keeps things warm and comfy inside. The tall, durable cuff gives you a solid platform to push against on the descent and the buckle/booster strap combo locks things down so you can go as hard as you dare.
Keep your skis under 100mm underfoot and you’ll be set for fast and light adventures with a massive injection of power.
Bottom line: Lycra lovers and steep skiers unite.
Volume: M Last: 100 Flex: n/a Weight: 990g
Scott Freeguide Carbon
Scott’s all-new Freeguide Carbon boot with carbon/Grilamid shell is the Swiss brand’s stiffest, most downhill performance-oriented backcountry boot to date.
Weighing in at 1455g with a stout 130 flex and a whopping 60° ROM in walk mode, it sits alongside the likes of the Hoji Free, Maestrale XT and Zero G etc. as a light but beefy free touring boot that hikes well and rides like a beast.
The three-piece CabrioHybrid construction includes an inner overlap, which not only makes things more comfy on the uphill, it adds power and more precise energy transmission on the descent. The Boa Closure System on the liner provides a solid, personalised fit around the calf and shin and the streamlined 180° auto lock buckles don’t get in the way when you’re skinning.
“Neater yet more powerful and with more forward lean than the Superguide, this boot really is a grunty performer,” said Lee. “The Boa closure on the super-plush liner is a joy to use, keeping the tongue and liner snug around your foot allowing you to leave the clips pretty loose for the ups. The 60° ROM doesn’t feel quite as slick as the Superguide’s, but after 15 days trying it out around Glenshee last season, the new Freeguide has become my go-to boot for a day on the hill.”
Bottom line: looks like the Hulk, skis like a hunk.
Volume: M Last: 101 Flex: 130 Weight: 1455g
Dynafit Seven Summits
Ski touring can be an expensive old business, so when you come across a boot that’s reliable, comfortable and affordable, you jump into it.
The new Seven Summits is an easy-to-get-to-grips-with PU/Marfran boot designed to fill the gap created by the departure of the Neo.
At 1460g, it may not be the lightest rocket in the range but with its wide 104.9mm last and all-round uphill and downhill capabilities, it’s a very practical option for intermediate to advanced tourers looking for a roomy boot that does everything impressively well.
With 60° ROM in walk mode, it’s an efficient climber and with a simple flick of the single buckle Ultra Lock 2.0 closure system, you’re ready to shreddy.
It skis well too, thanks to the three-buckle construction and progressive flex, providing a sufficiently rigid ride without feeling overly stiff. The CR Custom Ready liner is the thicker and warmer of Dynafit’s two offerings, a downhill-optimised liner that feels reassuring, comfortable and supportive. Also available for men.
Bottom line: an affordable all-rounder and a bright blue badass.
Sizes: 22.5-27.5 Walk mode: Y
Volume: l Last: 104.9 Flex: n/a Weight: 1460g
La Sportiva Vega W
It’s arrivederci and buongiorno time at La Sportiva as we wave goodbye to the much-loved Sparkle and welcome a brand new star this winter – the Vega.
This new freeride touring boot takes the best features of its predecessor (mega lightweight boot with 60° ROM in walk mode) and gets rid of the not-so-good – aka the old fiddly buckles that have been replaced with new easy-to-operate alpine-style EZ-Tech buckles – hurrah!
For just 1300g of weight you get a beefy 125 flex, making the Vega ideal for big mountain turn earners looking for bombproof performance in a lightweight, comfortable package.
It will set you back a few beans but you’ll be rocking a super-stylish boot laden with time-tested touring tech, including Vibram outsoles, fully customisable pre-moulded liners that go easy on your ankles, and La Sportiva’s Pebax Rnew bio-based EZ Flex Tongue for super-smooth striding.
Also available for men.
Bottom line: a durable dynamo with real downhill skiability.
Sizes: 23-27.5 Walk mode: Y
Volume: M Last: 102.5 Flex: 125 Weight: 1300g
Roxa RX Scout W
The new great-looking RX Scout is an accessible, affordable, light and super-versatile touring boot that will work well for a whole lotta ladies.
Weighing in at 1140g per boot, it’s among the lighter female-specific boots, so is ideal for intermediate and advanced ski tourers with narrow-to-mid volume feet looking to begin moving at speed in the backcountry.
The impressive 62° ROM in walk mode will help make those long alpine ascents a breeze, and the combination of the dual density tongue, heat-mouldable liner and women’s-specific cuff ensures you’ll be comfy in the skin track.
The Quick Carbon Ski-Hike mode is light yet strong, so you won’t be faffing in transition, and when it is time for that oh-so well-earned descent, the Cabrio construction means you’re looking at a smooth and progressive flex with quick rebound so you can adapt and adjust to the conditions.
Bottom line: no gimmicks, just sensible and realistic; a touring boot for powder people.
Sizes: 22.5-27.5 Walk mode: Y
Volume: M Last: 99 Flex: n/a Weight: 1140g
GRAB A COPY OF OUR 2021 GEAR GUIDE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THESE BOOTS AND ALL THE OTHER TOP GEAR FOR THIS WINTER.
* It’s a mega 168 page PRINTED AND DIGITAL issue – our biggest yet!
* It features all the best gear for winter 2021 including our EDITORS’ CHOICE and ONES TO WATCH award winners
* There’s BUYER’S BETA GUIDES, INTERVIEWS AND GEAR INSIGHTS from some of the biggest names in the industry
* IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE SKIS – there’s boots, bindings, backcountry accessories, snow safety kit, splitboards, telemark gear, goggles, helmets, poles, packs, avy bags, kick-ass clothing, kids gear and much, much more!
MORE EPIC 2021 GEAR:
2021 GEAR GUIDE – EDITORS’ CHOICE BACKCOUNTRY SKIS
WINTER 2021 – THE BEST NEW SKI CLOTHING
WINTER 2021 – THE BEST NEW SKI TOURING PACKS AND AVALANCHE AIRBAGS